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This week we cover The Gainesville Ripper which takes place in Gainesville, FL. According to developer and screenplay writer, Kevin Williamson, the story of The Gainesville Ripper, was the inspiration for his slasher film Scream. In 1990 five University of Florida students were brutally killed in 3 days, Sonja Larson, Christina Powel, Tracy Pauls, Manuel Taboada, and aspiring police officer Krista Hoyt. They had all been stabbed, the women had been raped and mutilated. The killer had gained access into their apartments by tampering with their doors using a screwdriver. The story caught the attention of a woman from Shreveport, Louisiana. Nine months earlier, there had been the murders of 3 family members, William T. Grissom, his 24-year-old daughter, Julie, and his 8-year-old grandson, Sean, in Shreveport. Their deaths seemed similar to the murders of the Florida students. Could there be a connection? And if so, she knew who the killer was. Listen to find out more about The Gainesville Ripper, Danny Rolling, and his connection to Shreveport, as well as the investigation and subsequent arrest.
As you listen, you will discover why a 150-year-old oak tree located in Oak Hammock Park in Port St. Lucie, FL is called “The Devil’s Tree”. Skeptic Bettina, after looking into the history of the tree, can almost believe that the tree and the area around it could, just possibly, be haunted. So much evil in one spot has to cause a feeling of heaviness, sorrow, and yes, hauntings.
A 1991 picture of Danny Rolling. The Gainesville Ripper killed a Shreveport family of 3 in Nov. 1989 and 5 students in Aug. 1990. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Danny_Rolling
Oak Hammock Park in Port St. Lucie, FL is lush with vegetation and hugh oak trees. Somewhere in this dense wooded area is the150 year old oak called The Devil’s Tree. https://floridahikes.com/oakhammockpark
Scream the true story – Steve Shippy
20/20 – Season 43 e 21 “ The Devil in Gainesville”
COCKTAIL: The Ultimate Pina Colada (Real Gourmet Cream of Coconut)